Topless Robot Live! From Drag Queens to Dianetics, Sex and Scientology

By Luke Y. Thompson in Books, Miscellaneous, Nerdery
Friday, May 22, 2015 at 6:30 am


This is a fun one.

First, we catch up with TR correspondents Liz Ohanesian and Eric Diaz at RuPaul's DragCon, to get their take on the crossplay convention.

Next, we catch up with Tony Ortega, a veteran journalist and author of the new book The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, as he gives us a crash course in the history of L. Ron Hubbard's controversial sci-fi religion and its policies.

It's quite the wild ride, this podcast. Buckle up.

7 Ways the New Poltergeist Pleasantly Surprised Me

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Friday, May 22, 2015 at 5:00 am


It is perhaps possible that some full disclosure is in order.

The night before last, I was up so late writing the Annie list that before I knew it, it was 5 a.m. and I had not gone to bed. So I stayed up and wrote more. Sometime around noon I got a couple hours sleep. Then I wrote more because Disney's doing something dumb with Tinkerbell and I needed to be first to make fun of it.

I'm certain you don't care, but the point is this - by the time I got to see the new Poltergeist at 6 p.m., I may not have been in my right mind. Or I may have been disproportionately overjoyed that it was the first 3D movie in months to actually screen for press in 3D. On the other hand, the fact that it was one of those radio station promotional screenings where some big fat dude down front with some speakers keeps yelling "Make some NOISE!" and throwing T-shirts into the crowd ought to have been an effective counterbalance. So when I say I enjoyed the movie, you now have a certain amount of ammo you can use to prove I was not in my right mind. That said, I am going to make my case.

Reese Witherspoon Will Be a Live-Action Tinkerbell for Disney

By Luke Y. Thompson in Cartoons, Movies
Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 3:55 pm


So I guess since Peter Pan is getting remade by about a dozen other different people, Disney's going to the Maleficent well for Tinkerbell, which promises "'the story you don't know' and will offer a new perspective on the character."

As any hardcore fan of Disney's Tinkerbell (or her husband who got forcibly taken to see a Tinkerbell movie at the El Capitan) would know, however, Tink's background has been established in Disney canon already, with all the animated movies set in Pixie Hollow. I don't need to see her get abused in live-action like Maleficent to explain why she never talks in Peter Pan.

Given that Witherspoon's older than we usually see Tink, maybe this will be a sequel to all that stuff. At the very least, this gives every film critic alive the chance to use "Stinkerbell" puns.

Zenescope's Grimm Fairy Tales Kicks off 1/6 Toy Line With Liesel Van Helsing

By Luke Y. Thompson in Comics, Toys
Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 2:34 pm

click to enlarge

From Executive Replicas, the company that recently announced a 12" Stan Lee doll, comes what would seem to be a no-brainer of a line - 12-inch figures based on Zenescope's busty, scantily clad reinterpretations of fairy tale characters. Each one features a seamless outer skin over an articulated, stainless steel skeleton, and ironically, I think this is one case where business will do well by being full of busts. Up first? Liesel Van Helsing, who features the additional selling feature of being steampunk.

The daughter of the famed vampire slayer has never looked so good or lifelike as she comes dressed in her signature outfit of fishnets and trenchcoat with steampunk accents for optimum hunting. Ready to drive a stake into every black vampire heart, the figure offers a multitude of poses and comes packaged with her signature weapons.

She'll retail for around $160, with preorders starting in June and fulfillment in July. Two more detailed pics are below...

Fast Food Review: That McDonald's Third-Pound Burger the Stupid New Hamburglar Wants

By Luke Y. Thompson in Food & Drink
Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 12:30 pm


Does anybody remember the last time McDonald's did third-pound burgers?

I do, because it coincided with my moving to Orange County to work at the OC Weekly. A few months later, Topless Robot came online.

But that's not the point. The point is that McDonald's at that time called them Angus burgers, and Jack in the Box, which was pushing its own Sirloin burgers, started running ads that basically implied Angus beef came from a cow's anus.

Dark Horse Announces New Game of Thrones "Inaction" Figures, Incl. Sansa and Brienne

By Luke Y. Thompson in Books, TV, Toys
Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 11:00 am


While Funko continues to make fully articulated Game of Thrones figures, Dark Horse continues their larger, more-detailed McFarlane-esque line of unarticulated figures, with the announcement of four new figures for fall 2015: Sansa Stark, Brienne of Tarth, Sandor Clegane ("The Hound," who will have a hinged visor on his helmet) and Jorah Mormont. Frankly, given recent events on the show, I'd be afraid of what some collectors would do with an articulated Sansa, so I'm quite happy to see her stay preposed and dignified.

Sandor and Jorah are yet to be revealed, but you can check out Brienne below...and lop off her head to start working on your Captain Phasma customs before the new Star Wars toys come out.

Mad Max: Fury Road - Now With More Patton Oswalt

By Luke Y. Thompson in TV
Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 10:00 am


You loved the Doof Warrior, with his phallic, fire-spurting electric guitar, right?

You might not love the Doof Comedian so much, as played by Patton Oswalt in this "deleted scene."

But it does make me wonder - if everyone here were in a Mad Max movie, would we be called the Doof-Us?

EXCLUSIVE IN-PACKAGE REVEAL: NECA's Pacific Rim Chibis for Comic-Con

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies, Toys
Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 9:00 am

click all images to enlarge

Oh, happy day! After many years of funneling large chunks of my money to NECA in exchange for little (and not-so-little) plastic people and creatures who silently stare and judge me here in the TR-cave, I get to reveal one of their Comic-Con exclusives in the package.

The figures have been shown, but this is the first look at the final window-boxed product. These chibis, for those who don't remember, are the toys seen within the movie itself; the mini-kaijus and jaegers played with by children, much as the World War II kids had green army men.

Keep reading for more pics and the official description...

Delta Airlines Populates New Safety Video With Stale Internet Memes

By Luke Y. Thompson in Nerdery, Tech
Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 8:00 am


It's good to see Delta doing their part for charity by giving the unemployed a shot at a another paycheck.

I kid, of course. Nyan Cat quite obviously brainwashed everyone into doing its evil will for free.

Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: Pioneertown

Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 6:30 am


Martha Boyd is not just Luke's mother-in-law - she's also an ex-cop, a landlord, a self-described crazy cat lady, a major Star Trek geek and the widow of a green beret. So go ahead: ask her anything. And we mean anything.

Hi and wow, it is another Thursday already.

Anyway, before I was sidetracked with other pictures last week I was planning on Pioneertown pics. Well, I'm going to start those today. Pioneertown is a small community in the hills above the City of Yucca Valley. It was founded in the 1940's by Western Cowboy stars like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. Gunfight at the OK Corral and Judge Roy Bean were filmed in the area, along with many Westerns. Anyway, the Main Street movie front sets were left. Over the years, the other 3 sides were built to the fronts and became houses and small gift shops.